68.7 F
English English Español Español
September 25, 2023

Letter: RTC misses the mark on Highway 1

You can take an express bus from Watsonville to Santa Cruz without traveling a whole lot longer than it takes by car—so long as you travel after the morning peak commute hours. If you hop on a 91X bus at Main Street and Green Valley Road, you can get to Cabrillo College in 18 minutes and the County Building in Santa Cruz in 36 minutes. 

What if buses could be made faster than car travel during peak congestion periods? That’s exactly what happens in places like Minneapolis, Cleveland and Atlanta, where a bus-only lane on the shoulder of the highway allows buses to make good travel time in spite of highway congestion.

Unfortunately, our Regional Transportation Commission is missing an opportunity to build bus-only lanes. Instead the RTC plans to build auxiliary lanes (exit only lanes) between Santa Cruz and Watsonville. The Caltrans EIR found that these auxiliary lanes “would result in very slight improvement in traffic congestion compared to the No Build Alternative.” The RTC’s plan is for buses to operate in the auxiliary lanes, where they will be stuck in commute traffic. 

It’s not too late for Watsonville residents to demand real alternatives to being stuck in Highway 1 traffic—not ineffective solutions like auxiliary lanes.

Rick Longinotti

Santa Cruz


  1. Rick Longinotti is a one trick pony with his organization, Campaign for Sustainable Transportation (CFST). Not sure where he gets his motivation, but he continues to provide misleading information in his odd quest.

    What does ‘sustainable transportation even mean? Freeways have proven to be sustainable with reasonable improvements over time.

    I am OK with bus only lanes for now. When this proves to be a failure, we can convert them to all access for all drivers.

    Oh, and yes no train. That for certain is not sustainable due to lack of ridership, lack of parking lots and lack of train stations, which have not been factored into the train equation.

    • Please sign me up for the newsletter - Yes
  2. we need a rail line that runs near HIGHWAY 1. we do not need more lanes on the freeway. more pollution, more destruction of natural habitat and more traffic noise. I agree with the mayor. “what” is an out of touch troll whose sole purpose on this topic is to preserve automobile domination and pollution. so RETHUGLICAN ! so hateful of our natural environment. go breathe in some diesel engine fumes, what.

    • Please sign me up for the newsletter - Yes
    • Another childish, poorly written post from Mr. Irrelevant. This pea brain writes stuff like Rethuglican and thinks he is clever. I am a democrat you moron. Hateful of our natural environment? Where do you come up with this crap? Yes we do need to widen the freeway. A train will only bankrupt the county. Move back to Salinas or So. Cal where they have trains. You and our community will be much better off.

      • Please sign me up for the newsletter - No
  3. I agree with the writer, and so does Caltrans. I hate what widening and walling up the corridor will do to the once scenic highway through the county. Watsonville needs rail transit, a dedicated bus lane and free busses. Not intermittent widening with chokepoints.

    • Please sign me up for the newsletter - No
    • That is the problem. Intermittent widening due to the naysayers like Frank.

      There should have been foresight and widening years ago. The chokepoints are a result of the one piece at a time instead of doing it right in the first place. That is, widening.

      It should have been done decades ago except for the no growth mind set in the 60’s and 70’s. Agree with the potential for no bus fares, but the dedicated bus lane has proven to be ineffective, though I tend to lump that in with toll lanes.

      Watsonville has a rail transit to Salinas, so no worries on that item. Not feasible for the Santa Cruz run.

      • Please sign me up for the newsletter - No
  4. Widening almost everywhere has PROVEN to be not beneficial, ugly and overly expensive, that is not naysaying. Naysaying would be Your comments about the benefits of refurbishing the existing line for clean ultra light rail transportation, which will benefit thousands and thousands for years and years. So, WHAT TH?

    • Please sign me up for the newsletter - No
    • When you write ‘almost everywhere’ it applies to Hwy #1 from Santa Cruz to Watsonville, which would be beneficial.

      When they widened the section between Aptos and Watsonville, it alleviated traffic back ups and still works today for the most part. If we had done that all the way from/to the Santa Cruz fish hook at the same time, it would have had the same effect.

      Your claim that it (train) will benefit thousands and thousands for years and years is odd/silly. I think the tens of tens is more like it regarding riders before they pull the plug.

      Freeways and highways have benefited millions for years and years and will continue to do so. Hoping electric cars and busses become the norm, and the freeway is widened to eliminate choke points and improve traffic flow.

      • Please sign me up for the newsletter - No
      • I’m afraid You are mistaken, B.O… If You remember the widened section never had backups, it had a middle “suicide lane” for passing which resulted in head on collisions, so it was replaced with separated dual lanes…Widening does not help. Caltrans knows it and so does the RTC. You need to only look at the widening near Morrissey Blvd. It is a parking lot if You haven’t seen it during the commute. The problem we suffer from really are too short acceleration lanes and the Bay/Porter onramp/offramp/onramps. Maybe it worked back when designed but no more. Thats factual. And I stand by My claim of the rail transit benefit, which will become exponentially popular with both locals and visitors. Your theory that cars and busses, whether electric or not, coupled with more lanes will fail as traffic increases, and it will if there are no options.

        • Please sign me up for the newsletter - No
  5. Gosh, if Steve could learn how to write, it might help his argument. Probably not. He wrote “WHAT ia a right wing troll…? ia a?

    Steve, again I am a died in the wool Democrat and am concerned about climate change, but you tend to make stuff up to suit your narrative on a regular basis. To the point, we are collectively invested in driving for a myriad of reasons. Ideally we will transition to electric vehicles sooner than later.

    Worships the internal combustion engine? Steve, cut down on the weed.

    • Please sign me up for the newsletter - Yes
    • Steve, dont stoop to His level, He cannot be civil in His responses and insists on taking personal jabs at whoever opposes His views, plus He mixes facts with fantasy. Same on all the other forums. Let Him drill Himself a hole, He will not bend on issues, regardless of proof. I have seen His bullying remarks. He cant use His real name anymore, He has to hide behind aliases.

      • Please sign me up for the newsletter - No


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


ramsay park mural

New mural goes up in Ramsay Park

Thanks to the efforts of a group of local students and artist Jaime Sanchez, a new colorful mural has been added to an outdoor...